Six area players, one coach earn ASWA All-State Basketball honors

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Southside High School's Jeffery Mack (22) was one of seven individuals from Dallas County to claim all-state honors. -- File Photo

Southside High School’s Jeffery Mack (22) was one of seven individuals from Dallas County to claim all-state honors. — File Photo

Six area players and one coach were recently named to the 2013 Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State Basketball team.

Dallas County High School junior forward William Lee was named first team for Class 4A boys, while Southside senior forward Jeffery Mack was named first team for Class 3A boys, Southside senior guard Sammarkus Jones was named second team for Class 3A boys, Keith junior guard Anfernee Simmons was named honorable mention for Class 1A boys, and Morgan Academy guard/forward Dalton Lee was named second team for Alabama Independent School Association boys.

Southside head boys basketball coach Cedric Brown was named Class 3A coach of the year after leading his team to regional and area championships on its way to the Class 3A title game and a finish of 24-10.

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Keith High School freshman guard Harriet Winchester was also named honorable mention for Class 1A girls after helping lead her team to the Class 1A title game with a final record of 31-4.

Brown said being named coach of the year is an honor he shares with the entire team, and he’s thankful to have coached a pair of all-state players in Jones and Mack.

“To me, it’s a team award because I couldn’t have done it without my staff, without these great guys that worked so diligently pretty much the entire season,” Brown said. “It means a lot to be rewarded in such a way to let you know your hard work wasn’t in vain. It feels good that we have these honors, with these guys making all-state, which pretty much means they’re the elite in Class 3A. And I’m happy to know that I had the chance to coach these guys.”

Mack, who averaged 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and four steals during the Class 3A final four, said it’s a great feeling to see his hard work pay off.

“It means a lot,” Mack said. “It feels great. We worked all season, and to get rewarded at the end like this, it feels great.”

Jones, who averaged 14 points per game during Southside’s two games in Birmingham, agreed that it’s great to see some recognition at the end of a long season.

“It was great to work hard all season long, and now it’s paid off at the end,” Jones said.

Winchester averaged 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds during the Class 1A final four, and Keith head girls basketball coach Cecil Williams said she still has great potential after her freshman year.

“She was a team leader and she still has a lot more potential to grow,” Williams said. “She was a key part in kind of getting everything rolling.”

William Lee helped lead Dallas County to another appearance in the Class 4A Central Regional Tournament, and is also a finalist for this season’s Class 4A player of the year award.

Dalton Lee was instrumental in helping the Morgan Academy Senators to a 21-9 finish and a trip to the AISA Final Four in Montgomery, providing points and rebounds as a force in the paint, while also being deadly from long range.

Bob Taylor, head boys basketball coach of Morgan Academy, said he looks forward to what Lee can accomplish in his senior season after a great junior year.

“Dalton was our leading scorer, one of our leading rebounders. He just kind of led us quietly,” Taylor said. “He’s the guy on the floor that everybody points out that he’s the one they’ve got to stop. He just did a good job for us all year and I’m looking forward to him having an even bigger year next year.”

Simmons averaged 22.5 points per game during the Class 1A Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery, as Keith advanced to the regional title game.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith, said Simmons is not only a model athlete, but he’s also a great student and individual who’s deserving of the honor.

“He’s been model from seventh grade to now. He’s probably an example of doing everything the right way,” Tisdale said. “All the accomplishments thus far, I’m extremely excited and proud for him because a lot of the times doing it the right way, doing what you’re supposed to do, a lot the time it goes unnoticed. And for him to come to the forefront and be selected among the best players in the state, it’s a tremendous accomplishment for him as an individual, and it also shows a lot on what we do as a team. I’m extremely proud of him.”